The animal-killing wingnuts at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have committed themselves to replacing the real circus (the kind with elephants and clowns) with a media circus (the kind with gray-skinned and humorless vegans). The Chicago City Council is holding a public hearing next week for an ordinance that would multiply by ten the living space that a zoo or circus must set aside for elephants. If passed, the law would effectively ban from Chicago all traditional circuses (you know, the fun kind).
For all its indignant protests, however, PETA’s own record with elephants isn’t exactly spotless. In 2003, the tiny African nation of Swaziland found itself facing a drought with eleven extra elephants on hand. These giant pachyderms aren’t exactly light eaters, and the extra animals would have caused serious damage to already scarce crops and vegetation. King Mswati III agreed to have two American zoos take the elephants as an alternative to shooting them.
PETA and other animal rights groups complained bitterly. One particularly clueless PETA staffer whined to a San Diego TV station that "[z]oos should be protecting animals in their homelands, not snatching them away from their homes and loved ones." Of course, the elephants in question were orphans. And we’re pretty sure zoos are around so you don’t have to fly to Africa to learn about exotic animals.
PETA and company also threatened a tourist boycott of the tiny, tourism-dependent country if it gave the animals away, to the dismay and insult of one Swazi game ranger:
They rushed to the press with threats of a tourist boycott without even speaking to us, and their tone is that we are ignorant incompetents who are insensitive to animal welfare and incapable of handling our own affairs.
Mindless sentimentalism for animals mixed with contempt for human beings is a PETA specialty, but the group didn’t stop there. In a court hearing arranged to try and block importation of the Swazi animals, the lawyer representing a bevy of animal-rights groups (PETA foremost among them) told the judge: "If the elephants are euthanized in Swaziland … that would be a better outcome."
Strangely, PETA’s "Save Wild Elephants" website doesn’t mention anything about their support for killing wild elephants in order to "save" them.